The Char Dham or the tour of the four abodes of Gods, in the state of Uttarakhand is the most popular and the holiest of all pilgrimages in India. The journey to Char Dhams is undertaken from west to east, in the order of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. The reference of this journey find its place in the ancient Hindu mythologies, however the exact history and how these four temples got connected, is not known. Apart from its spiritual advantage, the journey to the Char Dhams is undertaken by many nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The journey takes one to some of the highest altitudes of the great Himalayas through dark forests, lush green meadows, numerous streams and mighty rivers. Each of these places give unprecedented views and presents enormous scenic beauty to all the tourists. Until 1950, the journey to the Char Dhams had many hardships and required extensive trekking. However, after the China War in 1962, the Indian government carried out massive infrastructural developments in these areas and now a days, this journey can be undertaken at much ease.
These temples open for only about seven months of a year (mid-April to early November) when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Aries and it is closed when the sun enters Scorpio.
Climate: These places remain cut off from other parts from end November to April due to heavy snowfall. Heavy woollens are required during this time. In summers, light woollens are recommended during daytime and heavy woollens are suggested at nights.
Tourist Attractions in Char Dham
Yamunotri: Yamunotri is a place of extreme religious importance and an essential pilgrimage for the Hindus. The shrine of Yamunotri is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna, the famous river. It is also a part of the ‘Char Dham’ yatra in Uttarakhand and the yatra starts by visiting this place first. Yamunotri is also famous for its hot water springs and glaciers. The most famous of these glaciers is Champasar glacier, popularly known as Yamunotri Glacier, the water source of river Yamuna. It is located on the Kalind Mountain at an elevation of 4421 m above sea level, 1 km uphill from the temple complex. This is not frequently visited by many as the approach is extremely difficult and therefore, the pilgrims pay homage at the temple itself. Read More>>>
Gangotri: Gangotri is one of the main religious places among the four Char Dham pilgrimage circuit in Uttarakhand. This temple of Gangotri is related to Goddess Ganga, the river that is internationally known as The Ganges. The temple was built by General Amar Singh Thapa of the Gorkha Regiment of Indian Army in the 18th century. This temple is located in a beautiful surrounding of deodar and pine trees on the left bank of Bhagirathi River. Read More>>>
Kedarnath: Kedarnath is one of the most sacred pilgrimages of the Hindus, situated in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. Here, Lord Shiva in his ‘Sadashiva’ form is worshipped and this is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Kedarnath is also one of the ‘Char Dham’ in the state of Uttarakhand and the most important Dham amongst ‘Panch Kedar’. The Kedarnath Temple is considered to be more than 1000 years old, believed to be constructed by the Pandavas from the Mahabharata. The present temple was built in 8th century A.D. by Adi Sankaracharya which stands adjacent to the site of the earlier temple. Read More>>>
Badrinath: Located between the two mountains Nar and Narayan and beside the majestic Alakananda River, Badrinath is a magnificent site as well as the most important of all the ‘Char Dhams’ in Uttarakhand. In Badrinath Temple, Lord Vishnu, in his incarnation as the sages Nar and Narayan is worshipped and lakhs of tourists visit this temple every year to seek blessings and to get a glimpse of the famous shrine of Shri Badrinathji. Badrinath is one among the four pilgrimage centres in four corners of India, also known as ‘Bada Char Dham’; the other three are Dwarkapuri in Gujarat (western India), Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu (southern India) and Jagganathpuri in Odisha (eastern India). Read More>>>